Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a fellowship of men and women who have lost their control when it comes to drinking and/or drug use. When first beginning their process of sobriety, AA participants find themselves in various types of trouble as a result of their addiction.
Benefits of Sober Communities
The benefit of participating in an AA community is that you have people around who have found a way to live a fulfilling and satisfying life without alcohol or drugs. The point of the AA fellowship is to provide guidance and support to others who are seeking the same thing in life.
You become a member of AA when you make that decision for yourself. There are no forms to fill out and no fees to pay. Your only requirement is the decision to stop drinking or using drugs. When you decide to attend an AA meeting, you’ll find that they are usually pretty lively.
They are people who have struggled and survived an addiction and now many attend AA meetings to provide support.
Typically, at a meeting, alcoholics talk about what drinking did to their lives, the problems they had to bear, what actions they took to get out from under the destructive pattern of addiction, and how they are living their lives today. Usually meetings, people will feel waves of inspiration and motivation to make better choices for themselves.
A significant part of the AA meetings is helping each other move through the 12-step process developed by the founders of AA. They are guidelines not only to end an addiction but to create a new lifestyle that does not include substance use.
Each of the 12-steps has proven to be a path towards creating a great life change. When those who want to stay sober continue to practice the 12 steps on a daily basis, research shows that they can eventually find sobriety.
The 12-Steps are Below:
Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God
Step Four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
Step Five: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
Step Six: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
Step Seven: Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
Step Eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
Step Nine: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
Step Ten: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
Step Eleven: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out
Step Twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
After reading this list, you might see why step four is difficult to do. Taking a moral inventory of oneself and examining the things that need improving is not easy. Admitting that you might be jealous, lazy at times, angry, unappreciative, or confused can be very challenging. It’s sometimes even easier to make amends with others (steps seven and eight).
And you’ll notice that steps one through three is about turning over your power to a higher being. And when you’re feeling down and out, this might be the easiest thing in the world. But then when you get to step four, asking for a deep examination of your shortcomings, that’s when most people take a pause at working the 12-steps.
However, honestly working through this step not only allows you to continue to other steps but it prepares your heart in a certain way. You might feel lighter, more joyous, or freer after you do the fourth step. It’s an important one! Although it’s hard, stick to it. Once you’ve completed step four, you’re likely to experience the rewards.
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